Loyal customer behaviors: Identifying brand fans

Seong Ho Lee (Hanbat National University), Kyung Sik Jung (Hanyang University), 2018, 46(8), 1285–1304

It seems clichéd for someone working in marketing to write about the topic of “brand fans” but I think you’ll find this topic is interesting for any one of us from a consumer point of view.

We all likely understand the concept of brand loyalty, but this study suggests a concept that goes even further: brands can have fans—just like sports fans—and this is even more profitable than simply having loyal customers.

When you chose a brand, it goes beyond satisfying a need—it’s also about self-image. When you purchase goods, you probably already have an idea of the most recognizable brands in the market. The quality of these brands plays an important role in the decision-making process. But what about when you regularly buy a brand because you identify with the values it represents, or it is used by people you admire, or it will improve your self-image? These factors have a powerful effect on us as consumers. No wonder that companies have invested so much time and money to maintain customer loyalty.

When a company successfully converts customers into fans, they are expected to continue to use, repurchase, and even recommend this brand to others. According to this study, even bad publicity is unlikely to change this.

So, whether you work in a marketing related field or simply like to read about human behavior, I recommend you read this article. It might explain why, when we are chatting with friends regarding our smartphone preferences, it can turn into a friendly debate of brand superiority. It also explains why we buy, and even defend, some brands without comparing what others on the market have to offer.

Noé Cruz | Marketing Manager
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal